What Are Your Travel Packing Essentials? Plus Rant

Wow, what a crazy few weeks we have had in our house. My son’s pre-school got shut down for operating without a license. Lovely. I keep waiting for someone to come in and shut down my blog for that reason, but so far so good. We finally found a place that would take him, but it’s located on the other side of the county, and I’m currently spending several hours per day on school drop-offs and pick-ups.

I should seriously look into homeschooling. Just kidding! I can’t even remember to pay my credit card bill, and you think I could teach a child? Homeschooling moms and dads, hats off to you. Why am I telling you all this? Because it’s my blog and I can do whatever I darn please! It’s my party, I can rant if I want to.

Anyway, back to the reason for my post, aka travel packing essentials. One of hotel chain representatives has reached out to me and asked if I would do a short write-up on this subject. This is not a sponsored post, and I was not compensated (obviously, since I’m not naming the chain). Plus, do you think I would include a rant? But I thought it was a good idea. We all know how stressful it can be when you forget an important item while traveling with kids. Anyway, this was in the email:

I wanted to get your opinion on must-haves for staying at a hotel. 
Packing can be stressful, especially when essentials are forgotten at home. So I want to know two things:
1. What overnight travel items are special necessities for you? For me, it’s a book to read; for my daughter, it’s her favorite stuffed animal.
2. What are the top 3 ideal hospitality items you wish a hotel would provide? Maybe a phone charger should be made available in your room!
In a post on your blog, I would love to read your take on these travel essentials: what’s special in your luggage, and what do you wish you could leave at home? “
So, I’m hoping you, the readers, will chime in as well. Anything that can make family travel (and life) less stressful is a good thing in my book. Let me start out with my own answers:
1. For me personally, my pillow and noise machine ( I use Marsona) are critical. It could potentially ruin my trip if I forgot those two items. For my kids, it would have to be their favorite blankets.
2. It would be nice if all hotels had fans (to create noise and cool off a room in case of a/c failure), toys for kids and child-size comforters. Honorable mention: Pacifiers. Am I right?
OK, readers, now it’s your turn!

11 thoughts on “What Are Your Travel Packing Essentials? Plus Rant

  1. I am notorious for forgetting things! Usually it is a brush but on a recent resort getaway it was my swimsuit, which luckily the resort had one swimsuit left in my size. Unluckily I had to drop an extra $50 for it.

    What I wish hotels would have in every room is non feather pillows and bedding in every room. I know you can request or call down but my husband has a lot of allergies and does not like to admit these problems. He needs non feather bedding without the hassle.


    • @Julie Oh yes, the tooth brush is important! You know, honestly, $50 for a decent swimsuit isn’t terrible. No, it’s not cheap, but I’ve seen some swimsuits at resorts with a price tag of $100. Ouch! They know you are a captive audience. As far as pillows go, I recommend you just bring your own. I know it takes up space, but you wouldn’t be taking a chance.


  2. Some of the Sheratons where I’ve recently stayed had a tube of shaving cream along with the usual shampoo, conditioner, etc. It’s not shaving cream like your grandpa’s Barbasol, rather it is the new style (like Cremo creme) where you squeeze out a dime/nickel-sized amount, wet your skin with very warm/hot water, and lather it up into a foam. That’s nice, nothing is more frustrating than starting a shave and finding midway that you’ve run out of cream (or worse, forgotten it in the first place). I like that touch, particularly if it is high quality stuff (actually, in general I appreciate it when a hotel has higher-end toiletries like L’Occitane, for example). I’ve noticed that some hotels, particularly Marriotts, have several USB ports on a power strip that can be used to plug in your charging cords. That’s nice and one less thing that I have to pull out of my gear bag. With regards to traveling with kids, I’d suggest a portable wall to separate 2 queen beds, but that’s probably not practical LOL. If the hotel is located in a family destination like Orlando, kid-friendly toothpaste would be nice, that seems to be something we run out of (my kids hate adult toothpaste because they say it is “spicy”). Having a Chromecast or similar streaming device permanently attached to the TV would be great and make it easy to stream content from a tablet or phone (if a hotel has a kid-friendly channel, often it never has stuff that they want to watch in the evenings). Now that I think about it, it would be totally awesome if a hotel chain struck a deal with Netflix to provide that service to smart TVs in every room so that guests could choose what they want to watch (with the subscription paid by the hotel…you wouldn’t want guests to be using their logins and forgetting to sign out). Potentially they could make that cost-neutral by dropping some of the lame-o cable channels that nobody watches.


    • Oh…and one rant…why is it impossible for most hotels to provide 4 sets of towels in a room with two queen beds? Nothing is more annoying than checking into a room as a family of 4 and finding out that there are only 3 sets of towels. Then you have to call for another set of towels and they take time to bring it up (or worse…you have to go get them). If you’re checking in after a long day, that’s the last thing you want to be doing. I’ve never understood why hotels can’t get it right…they can clearly see on my reservation that 4 people will be occupying the room, why is it so frickin’ hard to make sure 4 towel sets are present?


      • @Erik I’m afraid you are too fancy for my blog! Cremo creme, L’Occitane toiletries… Have you seen my recent trip reports? 🙂 I’m kidding, I know what you mean. I definitely like nice toiletries and just fancy little things, they totally enhance the experience. I actually have heard about L’Occittane brand, but never tried it till this summer. And it was in Warsaw out of all places! We got this super nice hotel for only $18 per night with Orbitz coupon. Well, I just love the smell of shampoo and creme. It’s like a little treat, which is what travel is about.
        Absolutely agree with you on Netflix, cable is full of garbage these days IMO. Oh, and don’t get me started on towels. We’ve run into the same issue. When you have four people, a decent number of towels is important, especially in a beachfront property. It seems hotels we stay in (IHG, of course) never get this one right.


  3. I think hotels should provide complementary earplugs. No matter how good their sound-proofing is, the occassional noisy guest can ruin your sleep.


  4. Hotels need to catch up with me and my fellow Millennials. What I need:
    1. USB ports. Everywhere.
    2. Stop paying for cable, and drop your rates. In its place…
    3. Either have Netflix or provide a dongle/adaptor that allows me to hook up my mobile device to the TV and stream my own subscription to Netflix.
    4. Free, FAST wIfI to enable the above.


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